As a child I have always been creative, I am sure my parents could tell some good stories about me. I can remember writing my own stories, creating my own entertainment and exploring my surroundings whether it be the backyard or in my case, while growing up on a farm, the bush
I always get asked why I decided to do Aboriginal Art or why do I identify as Aboriginal. When I was growing up I never knew I was Aboriginal my family had some idea but due to the times it was taboo to say you were Aboriginal. Without going into more details when I found out things seemed clearer to me, this I can’t explain. To get back to why I chose to paint Aboriginal Art and my answer to that is: I really think it chose me, it’s something that feels right to me.
I don’t regard myself as a Traditional Aboriginal artist more contemporary, my paintings don’t have a story behind each one as with Traditional paintings. With traditional Aboriginal Art it usually has a story, song, dance behind it and is more ceremonial, so I don’t call myself traditional for that reason. I have permission to paint what I do in my own art work and what I do not have permission to paint I will not, I fully respect the elders who gave me the permission to paint the symbols, patterns and colours that I use. Also with my Aboriginal paintings I never use red as red represents death.
I get my inspiration from our country. As a traveller I’ve seen most of this country, I get inspired by the people and the land that we take for granted. I like meeting new people, when I worked at Tribal Gallery (February 2005 to July 2007) I met many people from all over the world. I worked for Footsteps Gallery since 07 till 09, which I enjoying immensely. I have and still am learning a lot from Aunty Nancy Bamaga and Bridget Garay who are amazing women and have done so much for Indigenous culture and people. The people I meet are very kind and very eager to know about aboriginal culture and my art works, by talking about my art I keep the Aboriginal Culture alive and give people an insight about it.
The main reason I paint is to share with others. I’ve had such a big response its hard to believe for me, with paintings in England, America, Ireland, Germany, China, Switzerland just to name a few it has taken me by surprise.
Its very important to get a education! Some people are street smart and others book smart, why not be both? I was street smart first then i went to university and got book smart.
The Institute of Koorie Education located in Geelong Victoria is where i studied; if your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander i would highly recommend that you go if you’re seeking a degree. If you’re thinking that it’s too hard it’s not at all, they are very flexible and the people there are fantastic.
These days, being 2014 onwards, i have been working with Aunty Nancy Bamaga and her Business Nguin Warrup doing exciting projects including Black Drum Arts & Cultural Markets. Highlights being the Artist that designed the Queensland Reds Jersey since 2012 to 2015.
Newest Highlight for 2014 and 2015! Being the Artist of the Indigenous Guernsey for Brisbane Lions, Its a huge honor to be apart of their first Indigenous match.
There will be more to come!